I had the “talk” with my daughter the other day—periods, puberty, sex, all of it. The one thing that shocked her the most? Periods. Specifically the fact that they happened as often as they do. When I explained that this would be a part of her life every month, for decades, she looked at me in horror. “It happens EVERY MONTH?!” she said.
Yep. It sure does. How hashtag blessed are we?! *cries.*
And in that moment I thought about all the experiences she might possibly have on her period journey through life. Would she get it unexpectedly at school? Would she get horrid cramps like her mom did at 14? Or forget she had a mini-pad on and jump in the pool at the party HER CRUSH WAS AT and watch in horror as the mini-pad floated to the surface of the water (also like her mom did)? Or get it on her sleeping bag at a fucking sleepover (like her mom did)??!
Or would her period hopefully not cause any mortifying, life-altering, embarrassing stories that would haunt her dreams at 41 when she was raising a pre-pubescent daughter of her own?
Whatever her journey ends up being, I knew I at least had to prepare her as best I could. So we talked about pads and tampons and cramps and boobs and vaginas and ovaries and fallopian tubes and eggs and uterine linings. And I made sure she knew she could ask me any questions and talk to me about any of it, any time.
Because periods suck, but they’re a part of life we can’t avoid. Here are some confessions from folks who’ve been dealing with them for years and probably still have years to go, since it’s so fucking fun having a uterus.
Confessional #25829704“I want my DH to experience a heavy period with simultaneous sticky diarrhea. Add in hip, lower back cramps & exhaustion then have to function because life doesn't stop.”
Confessional #25809533“I wish DH could just once experience the 3 days leading up to my period and the first 3 days of my period. Maybe then he'll quit trying to have sex. It's fucking miserable. Quit guilting me.”
Confessional #25814055“When my kids/dh don't understand my utter misery/exhaustion the first two days of my period, I'd like to bring them all to the bathroom and show them the golf ball sized clots I pass. Maybe then they'd get it.”
One of the worst parts of menstruating is that our families don’t understand how terrible we feel. Stop asking us for shit, make your own damn dinner, and leave us TF alone.
Confessional #25824821“I feel like shit today My period is coming n I just so tired n got the case of the blahs”
Confessional #25817203“My period takes so much out of me. I cant call off work. Cant do overtime. Cant spend time with nephew. Plus my bf has to do everything for me. Ugh”
Confessional #25820202“My periods have never been that bad... it’s the excruciating migraines that go along with them that suck.”
Between the exhaustion, emotional roller coaster, and headaches, we feel like we’re dying. But we’re moms, so we still have to do 900 things for everyone anyway.
Confessional #25825099“These period cramps suck. I just want Taco Bell & brownies.”
Confessional #25820287“I'm still on my period after 8 days and I have cramps. Wtf.”
Confessional #25813304“Angry teething baby, period cramps, DH working nights so he's trying to sleep and oh did I mention DD7 was randomly puking earlier? Shit 2021 settle down already.”
And the cramps. Uggggghhh the cramps. They start when we’re tweens or tweens and get it for the first time, and they often don’t let up until our uteruses are all said and done 40 years later.
Confessional #25828056“In my 40s and I hate my period. You would think l am used to it by now.”
Confessional #25825543“I'm turning 49 and STILL getting wicked bad periods every month. When in the hell is menopause going to kick in?!?! Fuck this sucks!”
Confessional #25825510“Every month when my period shows up, I end up curled around a heating pad after a double dose of Advil, Googling hysterectomies. 41 years old, no more babies for me, I want to ditch my spare parts as they just bring me misery now.”
Confessional #25823649“I fantasize about divorce the week before my period starts. Things with H aren't perfect but there are no major issues. I'm 43...hormones?”
And by our 40s we should have some handle on it, right? Like our bodies will finally figure this shit out and it won’t be so bad? Hahahaha. No. Our 40s is when perimenopause kicks in, and our periods are worse than ever. Yay!
Confessional #25825073“Ugh. Have had an overdue pap scheduled for 2 mos for today. Guess who's period decided to show up?! Too late to cancel...so embrarassing and gross. :(”
Confessional #25815256“Whenever I get my period I have 1 single thick chin hair that starts to grow. I always pluck it, but come on - why?!”
Confessional #25812726“New stage of perimenopause - itchy periods. I'm allergic to my own periods. Well, it's offical. New level of hell on Earth.”
There are other super annoying parts too, like our period showing up randomly when we have a GYNO appointment of all things, random chin hair, and… itchy periods?! WTF else are our bodies going to throw at us?
Confessional #25823330“Every month I have like a 3 day window before my period where I want to hump anything and everyday. Any hot thing I see or any little dirty thought turns my pussy into a faucet. It’s so bad. I feel like I’m in heat at work right now with soaked panties!”
Confessional #25823319“Last few days before my period, I am so turned on. It's like my hormones are screaming at me "Deadline for this month approaching. Go get it on!" It's rather glorious, really. Even though I feel guilty for reading so much porn.”
And there’s this unexpected surprise—lots of us get super horny right before Aunt Flo swoops in to ruin our week. It sure is a roller coaster having ovaries, isn’t it?
So no, I didn’t tell alllll of the things to my daughter, who hasn’t yet experienced her first foray into period-world. I mean, the shit we go through—I’ll let her learn some of it as she goes. But yeah, bracing our kids for cramps, the benefits of tampons vs. pads, and the wonder of a hot water bottle, I think is a good start.
And someday if she sprouts a random chin hair on day 1 of her period, I hope I’m around to walk her through that one too. Or at least commiserate with her that yep, menstruation can really suck ass—whether you’re 13 or 43.